But the fabled $35,000 car is still not here.
Tesla has been a victim of its own success as the company has now sold enough cars to trigger a reduction in the $7,500 EV tax credit. Buyers will now receive just $3,750 as a tax credit for buying a Tesla, prompting the automaker to lower its prices by $2,000 to offset the tax credit reduction.
Initially, the full $2,000 was only found on the pricier Model S sedan and Model X SUV while the smaller Model 3 only received a $1,000 discount. Since Tesla loves to frequently change its pricing, the Model 3 has now been reduced by another $1,100.
The Mid Range Battery Model 3 now starts at $42,900 compared to its previous starting price of $44,000. Tesla still tries to claim incentives and savings in fuel in the price, so don't be fooled by the $34,850 listing price. This is not the $35,000 base Model 3 we have been promised for years, though it is the most affordable version we have seen so far. The Mid Range Battery model includes 264 miles of range, rear-wheel-drive, and a 0-60 mph time of 5.6 seconds.
"I want to be a broken record about this: It's cost, cost, cost, cost," said Tesla CEO Elon Musk during an earnings call. "Getting those costs down - variable costs and fixed costs - is what allows us to lower the price and be financially sustainable and achieve our mission of environmental sustainability. We have to be absolute zealots about this, there's no question."
Musk has promised an April or May arrival for the $35,000 Model 3, though Tesla has failed to meet deadlines like this in the past so we remain dubious. For now, the cheapest Model 3 will cost you $42,900 plus a $3,750 tax credit, bringing the cost down to $39,150. It may not be as affordable as the Chevy Bolt of Kia eNiro but the Model 3 is still a compelling choice in the affordable EV segment.